Product Review - Magellan eXplorist TRX7 GPS
If Magellan had owned one of the GPS systems named after him, he would have never built a reputation as a legendary navigator. Instead he would have been known to history simply as “Ferdinand - the guy who drives the boat.” The new Magellan eXplorist TRX7 GPS system is so easy anyone can complete a treacherous crossing, at least on land anyway. You almost want to get lost just to turn it on.
EXPLORATION MADE EASY
Throughout the Americas explorers hacked, clawed, and fought their way through jungle, forest, and desert, rarely ever sure exactly where they were. It wasn’t about sight-seeing, but mostly about grabbing what they could gather up or lay claim to before the existing inhabitants could run the perceived looters out of their neighborhood. Where or even if they would come out was anyone’s guess. The Magellan eXplorist TRX7 will tell you exactly where you are at all times, lets you record interesting points along your adventure route, and helps you plot a course for your escape. Key points of the tablet-like TRX7 are:
Designed to be mounted in a Side x Side, Jeep, or even an ATV
7 inch LCD screen with a highly durable case designed for off-road impacts
Over 82,000 known trails already available to system
Includes National and State Parks, Recreational Vehicle Areas, and Service Roads and Trails
Provides info. about food, gas, lodging, and points of interest
Hi-Res 3D terrain features view and 2D topo view with contour lines for realistic view of the trail ahead
Maps are constantly updated by crowd-sourcing. As more people ride and map the trails, the map database grows
Includes known trail warnings, and a back track (back to start) feature
Can record your route, mark features with waypoints, audio or images, record your vehicle info, and share that data with other users
When we opened the box to the new eXplorist TRX7, we were impressed. It feels very much like a small tablet that has been built for rough and tumble off-road use. Every opening or port is sealed and the buttons have a tough, rubber coating. We plugged it into a power source and turned it on with a button on the right side. On the front are the buttons you’ll use most often: the Back, Home, and Menu button.
The TRX7 comes with a good set of mounts, but depending on what you are installing it in, it’s probably a little easier with a street capable vehicle like a jeep. In our Polaris General, we were able to use the swivel type connecter similar to those you would use for a GoPro. You might have to get a little creative with the mounts, and you’ll certainly want it someplace secure since it is much heavier than a typical action camera. Regardless of where you mount the TRX7, it clips into a saddle and the main unit can be removed when you hop out of the vehicle. This is not something you want sitting in an open vehicle overnight in the motel parking lot.
TO THE TRAILS
We were anxious to try the TRX7 on the trails, and a trip to the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula would be our starting point. We quickly navigated through a short registration and update menu, then scrolled through the numerous touch screen features. This is one very capable trail tool!
Like most GPS systems, it easily found our location. We were able to then search for trails in the area, or map our own. Like Magellan and Cortez, we like to go exploring so we opted to map our own. The TRX7 easily tracked our course and we were able to mark interesting features like waterfalls or creek crossings along the way. It also allows you to record trouble spots like a few areas where industrious beavers had built a dam so large they had effectively flooded and closed the trail. At the end of the day, it was then possible to share our adventure via social media and upload our route to the Magellan cloud based database. Other users will be able to repeat our route and even add to it as they record and share their adventure. Over time this will create an enormous database of every trail in the country, and that is a very good thing for us all! This will even make it easier for land managers, park managers, and even search and rescue or fire crews who rely on very accurate, current maps. You don’t want search and rescue crews unable to reach you when they find out the trail they thought was open has been blocked by beavers, rock slides, or anything else.
THE NEW EXPLORER
The Magellan eXplorist TRX7 is certainly the most capable GPS system we’ve ever tried. It’s much more than a GPS, though, and can really be considered a highly accurate mapping tool, a rescue line, and a source of new trail adventures - thanks to other users who are constantly updating the database. It’s your path in and out of the woods or desert. It’s tough, capable, built for action, and Magellan would have been very happy to own one. Even if it made him just “Ferdinand the boat driver,” he would have made it home safely, and that’s all any explorer really wants.
www.magellangps.com msrp: $649.95